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Glossary of Endocrine System Botanical Medicine Monographs

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Family: Fabaceae
Pea or legume family
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
Part Used: Root
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
Taste/Energy: Sweet, moistening (TCM considers warming)
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogenic, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hepatoprotective, immunomodulator
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
It is an herb used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has actions in nearly all body systems. It strengthens the immune system, energizes the body and builds deep immune strength.
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
It is used to treat chronic immune imbalances (chronic colds, EBV, HIV, candida, etc.). It also stimulates bone marrow (RBCs, WBCs, platelets), thus supporting immune function and protecting the body against infection.
§ Tx chemo, immunocompromis
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
§
· In the immune system, it affects several pathways of immune function. It is considered an
immunomodulator due to its ability to enhance and strengthen immune function. Studies indicate that the it intensify phagocytosis, stimulate pitu
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
It supports normal immune function in patients during chemotherapy, decreasing immunosupression. It will also reduce the negative sequelae of chemo and radiation (fatigue, weight loss, anemia, nausea and loss of strength). It increases WBC production for
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
In patients with repeated colds, it was shown to increase IgA and IgG and prevent recurrence.
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
It seems to normalize immune function and reduce damage from autoimmune conditions. It protected kidneys and lung from damage by autoantibody complexes.
§ Autoimmune dz w/sequelae in the kidneys and lungs
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
· In the cardiovascular system, the saponins inhibit lipid peroxidation in the myocardium. There is a small study using patients with angina that revealed cardiac output increased after two weeks of treatment. It strengthens left ventricular function an
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
· It has also shown ability to increase motility of human sperm.
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
· In TCM, Astragalus is used to tonify the spleen, tonify Qi and blood, raise the Qi of spleen in conditions of sinking of Qi syndrome (prolapse), strengthen protective Qi and regulate sweating, promote urination and relieve edema due to deficiency of Q
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
Contraindications: Not advised during acute infections in general
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
It is used to treat chronic immune imbalances (chronic colds, EBV, HIV, candida, etc.). It also stimulates bone marrow (RBCs, WBCs, platelets), thus supporting immune function and protecting the body against infection.
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi)
Family: Boraginaceae
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Part Used: Flowers, leaves and seeds
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Active Constituents:
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Taste/Energy: astringent, sweet, cooling (-Pitta)
Borago officinalis (Borage)
· The mucilage in the borage leaves is soothing to the GI tract and lungs. It can be added to formulas to contribute moisture esp to dry, non-productive coughs. It assists in dispelling heat from the body, especially when the heat is generated by a dry,
Borago officinalis (Borage)
It is an adaptogen. It is recommended for use in any person in a state of adrenal maladaption or chronic illness or stress. It works well when used long term for this purpose and will shorten convalescence.
Borago officinalis (Borage)
It is a galactagogue and will stimulate the flow of milk in nursing women. It is most indicated if the mother has deficient milk production and is also depleted. PA-free preparations are best for nursing mothers and it is often combined with other galact
Borago officinalis (Borage)
· It is also used as an anti-inflammatory for disorders of pelvic congestion and inflammation for both men and women. It will also reduce the symptoms of PMS in the same way Oenothera does (good source of GLA).
Borago officinalis (Borage)
It is a good nutritional source. The fresh plant has a cucumber-like fragrance and the leaves and flowers can be added to salads. It is a cooling herb and is utilized to decrease heat in the body. The leaves contain minerals and the seeds are high in gam
Borago officinalis (Borage)
The energetic use of it is to bring courage, joy, and well being to depressed individuals. As a flower essence it is indicated when there is heavy heartedness or a lack of courage.
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Toxicity: There are small amounts of 2 – 10 ppm of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in borage. The oil does not contain PAs. The tannins reduce the absorption of the alkaloid, but it should be used with caution with children, pregnant women, and anyone with liv
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Contraindications: Children, pregnant women, and patients with liver disease.
Borago officinalis (Borage)
Family: Apiaceae
Part Used: Whole plant
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Part Used: Whole plant
Active Constituents:
Flavonoids, glycosides ,saponin glycosides, triterpenoids (asiaticosides)

Taste/Energy: bitter, cooling, sweet (tridoshic), dispels heat
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Taste/Energy: bitter, cooling, sweet (tridoshic), dispels heat

Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogen, diuretic, nervine, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, venotonic, vulnerary
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogen, diuretic, nervine, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, venotonic, vulnerary
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Active Constituents:
Flavonoids, glycosides ,saponin glycosides, triterpenoids (asiaticosides)

Taste/Energy: bitter, cooling, sweet (tridoshic), dispels heat
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
It is primarily used as an adaptogen and nervine. It decreases stress while improving concentration and memory. It is a great herb to add to a formula for ADD/ADHD as it increases concentration while relaxing the nervous system. It calms the mental chatt
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Externally and internally, it accelerates the healing time. It is known to increase the tensile binding strength of connective tissue and to reduce scar tissue formation associated with wound healing. It is used internally to prevent scar tissue buildup
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
It also improves circulation throughout the body via its strengthening action on capillaries and veins.
Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola, Hydrocotyle, Indian Pennywort)
Family: Araliaceae

Part Used: Root
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
Active Constituents:
Glycosides (Eleutherosides), Minerals (Copper), Phenolic Compounds (Caffeic Acid), Polysaccharides, Vitamins (Carotenoids, E)
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
Taste/Energy: Pungent, sweet, neutral to slightly warming (-V –K/ +P)
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogen, anti-oxidant, bitter, cardiotonic, immune modulator, nutritive, tonic
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
It is best known as an adrenal adaptogen. It restores normal size and function to adrenal glands. It can off-set the negative effects of chronic corticosteroids use and will prevent or delay the damage caused by chronic stress. It is less stimulating tha
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
· People that have insomnia, irritability, anxiety or exhaustion experience an increased sense of well-being and deeper, more restful sleep (Frances). It is not necessarily a traditional anti-depressant, but does improve mood attention and energy while
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
It also is a good anti-oxidant. It reduces damage to cells caused by chemical exposure whether environmental (chemical, radiation, pesticide, heavy metal) or pharmaceutical, such as chemotherapy.
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
· It is used after surgery to promote healing and lessen recovery time. For cancer patients, it has been shown to extend survival time while improving appetite, well being, increasing weight gain, reducing nausea, vomiting and anorexia. There are some s
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
· According to Chinese medicine, you do not use it with acute illness, rather use it long-term to enhance stamina of those with chronic disease or under chronic stress.
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
It has been utilized in such cardiovascular conditions as: hypotension, rheumatic heart disease and atherosclerosis. Some of the athletic studies from Russia show an increase in intracellular oxygen in athletes taking it. · Consider using it for patient
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng, Siwujia)
Family: Fabaceae

Part Used: Root
Active Constituents:
Bitter, flavonoids and isoflavanoids (chalcones), saponin glycosides (glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhizinic acid – aglycone is glycyrrhetinic acid), gums, phytoestrogens, resins, volat
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
Taste/Energy: Sweet, bitter, cooling, moistening (-V -P/+K)
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, demulcent, expectorant, hepatoprotective, antiviral, phytoestrogenic, antispasmodic
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
It has mineralcorticoid activity to a much lesser degree than aldosterone, but binds mineralcorticoid receptors. It also inhibits the breakdown of aldosterone in the liver and inhibits 5 beta-reductase (the primary enzyme responsible for breaking down co
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
It has many uses. One of the most profound effects is extending the half-life of cortisol by blocking 5-beta reductase activity. This cortisol sparing activity lends anti-inflammatory action and helps the body recover from the debilitating after effects
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
It is added to many formulas to improve the taste, to enhance the overall effect of the formula and increase the anti-inflammatory action. Internal ulcerations heal more quickly when the patient is given it. Its demulcent and anti-inflammatory actions ma
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
·
· Studies show that it can slow or stop sepsis in burn victims.
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
It increases the body’s production of interferon resulting in increased antiviral activity. It is useful in conditions such as chronic and actue hepatitis, HIV, mononucleosis, CFS and some DNA and RNA viruses. It is used both internally and topically f
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· The constituent glycyrrhizin and possibly other constituents activate glucuronidation and enhance the cytochrome P-450 system in the liver. This suggests Glycyrrhiza is useful for detoxification and also lends anti-tumor protection. It is hepatoprotec
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
It is also a good expectorant and can soften the flavor of other pungent herbs when added to formulas. It is indicated for use in treatment of patients who have spasmodic, dry, irritated coughs and need expectorant action. It is useful in the treatment o
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· The isoflavone formononetin is a phytoestrogen. It can produce an anti-estrogenic effect by competitive binding with the stronger endogenous estrogens. *It can also inhibit 17 B-hyroxysteroid dehydrogenase (17BHSD) the enzyme responsible for convertin
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· In TCM, it is used to tonify spleen and Qi, moisten lungs and harmonize other herbs. It is contraindicated with excessive damp conditions.
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· Chronic ingestion of large doses can increase the reabsorption of sodium and increase excretion of potassium, creating a pseudoaldosteronic effect (HTN, hypokalemia, sodium and water retention). This pseudoaldosterone effect can exacerbate hypertensio
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· Hypertension, CHF, liver cirrhosis and renal failure are contraindications.
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
Drug Interactions: It potentiates the toxicity of cardiac glycosides like digitalis due to potassium loss in the urine. It interferes with 5 beta-reductase breakdown of corticosteroids, thus prolonging its biological half-life and should not be combined
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
· Do not use high dose or for prolonged periods (more than 6 weeks of continuous dosing) with prepubescent males due to the potential decrease in serum testosterone.
Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice Root)
Family: Araliaceae

Part Used: Root and inner stem bark
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
Active Constituents:
Glycosides, polyenes (, falcarinol, falcarindiol), saponins, tannins

Taste/Energy: cooling (Tilgner) moistening (Alfs)

Medicinal Actions: Adaptogen, expectorant, hypoglycemic, vulnerary
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
· It has been shown to increase interferon production by immune cells.
· In Western medicine, it employed to treat anorexia and digestive upset due to mental/nervous exhaustion.
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
It is native to the Pacific Northwest and grows in wet, shaded areas. It is well protected by sharp thorns along the whole plant. This plant grows in clusters around a central plant which can form impenetrable thickets and make harvesting a challenge.
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
It is an empowering plant and is used for people that need help standing in their power. It is considered a warrior herb, willing to stand its ground and protect itself as evidenced by its abundance of sharp thorns. It is used for those individuals that
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
· This plant was used by Native Alaskans and Northwest Indians to treat arthritis, tuberculosis and as a vulnerary and prevention of blood poisoning. As a vulnerary, a poultice is applied topically to treat infected wounds and snakebites.
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
· It also decreases the craving for sugar and works as a pancreatic tonic, lowering blood sugar levels by increasing the efficiency of insulin production in the pancreas. For this reason it is added to formulas for diabetes and syndrome X.
§ Amp
Oplopanax horridum (Devil’s Club)
Active Constituents:
Glycosides, flavonoids, polysaccharides, saponins , Beta-sitosterol, vitamins (B's), volatile oils

Taste/Energy: pungent, sweet and bitter, warming (P. ginseng –V/+P +K;
P. quinquefolium +K) taken in small qu
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
It is a supreme adaptogenic tonic thought to be due to the saponins found in the root. It is useful when there is decreased resistance to illness, decreased ability to handle stress and decreased stamina. It is specifically indicated for people who can n
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
· In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion. (Grieves)
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
Many studies have been done showing the enhanced mental functioning in persons taking it. Performance and accuracy increased during long term testing. Some studies have shown increased activity in the CNS and increased metabolic activity in the CNS with
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
· It has anti-depressant activity in persons with depression due to neurasthenia, weakness or depletion.
It can stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas and increase sensitivity to insulin in the receptor sites, causing a hypoglycemic ef
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
It is also used to treat male infertility. A double-blind trial with a large group of infertile men found that 4 grams per day for three months led to an improvement in sperm count and sperm motility.
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
Contraindications: Avoid or use with caution with patients diagnosed with hypertension and during acute infections.

Toxicity: None in regular dosing. Herbal abuse syndrome shows signs of heat, nosebleeds, tremors, insomnia, increased menstrual
Panax ginseng (Ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Ren Shen), Panax quinquefolium (American ginseng, Xi Yang Shen)
Family: Crassulaceae
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
Part Used: Root
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogen, antioxidant, cardioprotective
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
Active Constituents:
Phenylpropanoids (rosavin,
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
It is a powerful adaptogen which also has antioxidant and cardiotonic properties. It is a popular plant in Eastern Europe and Asia, used to combat fatigue, restore energy, improve mood, enhance work performance, improve sleep, and prevent high altitude s
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
· Like all adaptogens, it moderates the stress response, thus is appropriate to use for treatment of acute and chronic stress. Students receiving a standardized extract of it demonstrated significant improvements in physical fitness, psychomotor functio
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
It influences levels and activity of biogenic monoamines (serotonin, dopamine and NE) in the cerebral cortex, brain stem, and hypothalamus. It is believed the changes in monoamine levels are due to inhibition of the activity of enzymes responsible for mo
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
It is also cardioprotective, decreasing stress related damage to cardiovascular tissue. It has been reported to prevent both catecholamine release and subsequent cyclic AMP elevation in the myocardium, and the depletion of adrenal catecholamines induced
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
Contraindications: safety in pg and lactation unknown

Side Effects: Irritability and insomnia may result from too high a dose
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
Pharmacy: Rosavin is the constituent currently selected for standardization of extracts. It is best not to take it in the evening as it can be stimulating.
Rhodiola rosea (Roseroot, Arctic Root, Golden Root)
Part Used: Berry

Medicinal Actions: Adaptogen, antioxidant, astringent, anxiolytic, hepatoprotective, immunomodulator, kidney tonic, sedative
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
Taste/Energy: Contains all five flavors; TCM considers warming
5 flavor fruit
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
It is a tonic herb, considered a relaxing adaptogen. Like all adaptogens, it will improve stamina and endurance. It is used as a liver restorative, lung tonic and for immune system support.
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
· Consider it as an adaptogen when there is constitutional weakness in the lung or when there is need for liver protection or rebuilding such as with chronic hepatitis. It has a hepatoprotective action, decreasing or stopping hepatic damage caused by to
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
· It calms the shen and is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, palpitations and forgetfulness due to excessive stress. Numerous studies show it's ability to quicken reflexes, increase work efficiency, control anger and combat neurasthenias (headaches, inso
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
It strengthens the lungs, kidneys and adrenals. As a kidney strengthener, it is employed in diseases with spontaneous perspiration or night sweats. It also brings strength to the bladder when used over time.
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
· It has a hepatoprotective action, decreasing or stopping hepatic damage caused by toxins. The lignans increase production of glutathione which is a potent antioxidant in the liver. It will accelerate liver repair and normalize phase I and II detoxific
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
n TCM, it is considered an astringing herb and is used to astringe the lungs and stop coughing from lung and kidney Qi deficiency, decrease diarrhea, excessive urination and spermatorrhea, stop spontaneous sweating from Qi deficiency or yin deficiency an
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
· Menopause, for Hot flashes--not too hot for this.

Contraindications: Safety in pg and lactation unknown
Schisandra chinensis (Wu wei zi Fruit)
Family: Solanaceae

Part Used: Root
Medicinal Actions:
Adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, hypotensive, immunomodulating, sedative, spasmolytic, tonic
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
Active Constituents: Alkaloids-tropane (anaferine, isopelietierine), minerals (iron, magnesium), saponins, sitoindoside VII, VIII, sitoindoside IX, X, steroidal lactones (withaferins, withanolides)

Taste/Energy: bitter, astringent, heating, de
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
It is most indicated for patients who are debilitated or exhausted while agitated or under stress.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
· It will increase WBC and RBC counts, so is useful for patients undergoing chemo or that are exhausted and anemic.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
It exerts a sedative effect and thereby rests and restores the health of the nervous system and person overall. It is a tonic relaxing adaptogen. It is anxiolytic, and will help restore normal sleep patterns in those who experience insomnia as a result o
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
· Like other adaptogens, it helps to reduce the side effects of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation in cancer patients.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
It has been shown to reduce bony degeneration that occurs secondary to inflammatory arthritis such as RA or OA.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
It has also been shown enhance fertility. In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered a male tonic and is regarded as a premier sexual tonic.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
·
· It has been shown to exhibit action at the GABA receptors and is used to reduce cravings in those experiencing morphine withdrawal.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
Contraindications: Safety in pg and lactation unknown
Suggested to avoid w/PG. Safe for daily use.
Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry)
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Part Used: Leaves

Medicinal Actions:
Appetite suppressant, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, pancreatic tonic, astringent, decrease sugar cravings
Gymnema sylvestre (Gurmar, Small Indian Ipecac, periploca of the woods)
Active Constituents:
Polypeptides (gurmarin), Saponins (Taste/Energy: Astringent, pungent, heating (-K –V/+P)
Gymnema sylvestre (Gurmar, Small Indian Ipecac, periploca of the woods)

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